Fresh campaign launched to build DH Lawrence statue in Eastwood

A new campaign has been launched calling for a statue of famed author DH Lawrence to be built in Eastwood.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 11:42 am
Mr Gillespie would prefer the statue to represent Lawrence in his younger years. Image: Getty.

Lawrence is actively worshipped throughout the town, with the DH Lawrence Birthplace Museum regularly hosting exhibits, talks and information events about the author, as well as an annual music festival in his honour and the old DH Lawrence Society.

Now, determined resident Gavin Gillespie has set ideas in motion to develop a bronze statue in the town to celebrate the author’s heritage.

He said: “It is time that Eastwood had a statue of DH Lawrence to boast about – a statue that can be seen, and photographed by everyone who visits.

Eastwood Library could be a good place for the statue.

"This will spread the word about DH Lawrence, and Eastwood, helping to bring in more visitors to the area to view our new statue and help the economy of our struggling town.”

Previous calls for a permanent life-size tribute to the author have failed to progress due to insufficient funding.

But Mr Gillespie hopes to work with a local authority or organisation to accrue funds, rather than relying on crowdfunding.

He said: “I don't want to go down the route of crowdfunding as that is not very good with this type of appeal.

"I am hoping that some corporate fund can be set up to handle and protect any donations – a council department or large organisation would be ideal to run the fund. Too many have failed so it needs a solid base to get started.”

Support has previously been given to the idea of a statue by Eastwood Town Council, with chairman councillor David Bagshaw saying it would “boost the local economy”.

This has also been echoed by literature leaders, politicians and heritage groups across the county who see the statue as a great way to put the “spotlight” on Lawrence.

Campaign organiser Mr Gillespie has identified the space outside Eastwood Library as a possible home for the tribute.

He said: “The statue would then be directly overlooking the phoenix patio area in front of him, creating an amazing visitor's attraction for many years to come.

"Or, since Lawrence once wrote about an area around the Sun Inn being ideal for use as a place for social gatherings, perhaps he was also hinting at a place to put his statue.

"My personal preference would be to depict him in his younger years, to represent him nearer to how he would have looked when he was still living in, or having just left Eastwood.”

The latest information on the project as it progresses can be found on the campaign website here.